Unlike past years, Africa now has many partners to support the continent’s prosperity. Events and activities in 2018-2019 yielded the largest free-trade area in the world in terms of the number of participating countries, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). This came with the promise to ease the process of trading raw materials from and to other African countries which will boost economic activities across the continent. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic challenging trade and economic growth (The World Bank, 2020), the African Union launched the start of trading under the agreement on 1st January, 2021.
Words like “AfCFTA”, and “Trade” were the most frequently occuring words in tweets and hashtags. Hashtags that were used by many Twitter users were #AfCFTA, #ImplementingAfCFTA, #BusinessReady and #IntraAfricanTrade.
The word associations were calculated to find out which words occur often in association with the most frequently occuring words in tweets. Which brings to light interesting facts about public opinions expressed on social media around the trading under AfCFTA.
- The word “AfCFTA” among other words was highly associated with [“unlock”, “silver bullet”, “unstoppable”, “business ready”, “nations”, “across”, and “advocacy”]. This shows how the AfCFTA encourages doing business across the continent.
“@AfroIndustryGrp @africaupdates @AfCFTA @AmbMuchanga @MeneWamkele @akin_adesina @afreximbank @AUC_MoussaFaki @AfCFTA_Expert @LukwesaBurak @AfroChampions @NEPAD_Agency @niajaman @AUChair2020 @AUTradeIndustry @AU_ECOSOCC @AUC31 @infradevng @icrcng #Africa will be unstoppable if it fixes the “bottlenecks”. We are at a critical crossroad, AfCFTA is our last #silverbullet. #WeMove #AfCFTA”
- The word “Trade” was associated with [“one common market”, “intraafrican”, “operators”, “free”, “facilitating”, and “market”]. This suggests how private sector operators will enhance and facilitate trading under one common market.
“Building an inclusive and sustainable ecosystem for boosting intra-African trade. Highlights from a @AeTradeGroup statement with partners (incl #AfBC, @AfCFTA, @_AfricanUnion) on building the sustainable capacity of African SMEs, via the https://t.co/5EwdGqkDhQ platform…”
RichardHumphri1, South Africa
The emotion score for each of the tweets was estimated using the sentimentr package by Tyler Rinker, to understand the attitudes and opinions expressed in tweets. Positive attitudes dominated the discussions (69%).